Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.27
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date March 4, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Oregon State University
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Brandon Trelstad
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have strategies in place to safely dispose of all hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste and seek to minimize the presence of these materials on campus?:

A brief description of steps taken to reduce hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

Environmental Health and Safety at OSU encourages hazardous waste generators to reduce waste whenever possible. Specific reduction strategies include: Accurate labeling to prevent improper disposal of unknown hazardous material, combining flammable organic solvents for reuse as off-site fuel, separating halogenated solvents for solvent recovery, reusing/redistributing chemicals when materials come from unopened containers or partially used containers of high quality, neutralizing of chemical wastes which have corrosive properties, purchasing chemicals in a manner that does not exceed anticipated needs, and modifying procedures to reduce the hazard or amount of waste products or using less hazardous materials in procedures in general.

A brief description of how the institution safely disposes of hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

Environmental Health and Safety disposes of all hazardous waste in accordance with federal and state regulations. Federal regulations can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/wastes/laws-regs/regs-haz.htm

Departments are encouraged to employ waste reduction procedures to limit costs and waste volumes. Prior to disposal of any hazardous chemical waste, OSU must perform an official hazardous waste determination to see if the waste is hazardous, and to what degree.

Biological waste, cultures and stocks, pathological waste, and sharps are all considered hazardous and therefore are incinerated. All aerosol cans are considered hazardous waste until completely empty. The Facilities Services department has purchased several devices to open aerosol cans and drain contents, except for cans with pesticides or other highly toxic materials which should be treated with other hazardous wastes. Radioactive waste containers must have a record of materials in the container which is kept up-to-date. Radioactive waste is segregated by half-life and guidelines for storage and treatment of such waste (before disposal) is offered by the link provided below.

A brief description of any significant hazardous material release incidents during the previous three years, including volume, impact and response/remediation:


A brief description of any inventory system employed by the institution to facilitate the reuse or redistribution of laboratory chemicals:

Environmental Health and Safety at OSU makes available a chemical reuse inventory on their web page. These chemicals are available to departments for no charge.

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish all electronic waste generated by the institution?:

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by students?:

A brief description of the electronic waste recycling program(s):

All university-owned electronics are required to be disposed of through Surplus Property to ensure proper handling of e-waste. A description of the program is available at http://fa.oregonstate.edu/surplus/departments-and-agencies/pick-request/electronics-disposal.

Any salable items are refurbished as needed and sold through Surplus Property for an extended useful life on or off campus. Information about sales is available at http://surplus.oregonstate.edu/surplus/departments-and-agencies/department-purchases (for OSU departments, local government and nonprofits) and http://surplus.oregonstate.edu/surplus/public-sales (for the public).

Other electronics are sent for recycling through Universal Recycling Technologies (http://www.urtrecycles.com). They accept most kinds of electronics with a few exceptions; a list is available on their website at http://www.urtrecycles.com/RecyclingResources/RecyclewithURT/E-WasteSpecifications.aspx.

Note: On January 1, 2010, it became illegal to dispose of televisions, laptops, and computers (CPU’s and Monitors) in any landfill in Oregon. On January 1, 2015, printers, computer mice and keyboards were added. That includes any of these items discarded in any OSU dumpster, including those at residence halls. This law incentivizes OSU to properly handle these items, however, OSU processes additional e-waste not covered by the law and our recycling program precedes the law.

A brief description of steps taken to ensure that e-waste is recycled responsibly, workers’ basic safety is protected, and environmental standards are met:

As described above, all university-owned electronics are required to be disposed of through Surplus Property to ensure proper handling of e-waste. Electronics are tested, and if working properly, made available for sale to the departments, government agencies, and the general public. Electronics that cannot be resold are sent to Universal Recycling Technologies.

Universal Recycling Technologies (URT) is a 100% domestic e-Stewards® certified recycling company. They are also ISO 14001:2004 certified and ISO 9001:2008 certified.

According to their website (http://www.urtrecycles.com), "As professional waste recyclers, we assure responsible and ethical cradle-to-grave recycling. All waste is processed under our strict supervision, never shipped offshore, providing our customers with absolute peace of mind and optimal service." They also state (http://www.urtrecycles.com/ProductsServices/ElectronicsRecycling.aspx), "Located throughout the United States, URT's electronics recycling processing centers have more than 40 combined years of experience in recycling, data security, environmental compliance and asset management."

The website URL where information about the institution’s hazardous and electronic-waste recycling programs is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.